What is a Proper Gift to Give at a Wedding?


Weddings are the happiest days in the lives of the newlyweds, and they’re also extremely joyous occasions for everyone attending. It’s a celebration of true love and commitment, always evoking a sense of hope and new beginnings.

Gift-giving has obviously been a traditional part of any wedding for centuries. However, nowadays, with so many options available, it can be a bit tricky to choose a wedding party gift that’s just right for the bride, the groom, or both. 

Wedding Gift Etiquette Rules

You’re not technically obliged to bring a gift when you attend a wedding. However, seeing that a wedding is a huge milestone for any couple, it’s only logical and polite to shower newlyweds with as much love and affection as possible; therefore, it’s almost common sense not to show up empty-handed for the party.

Browsing the internet for potential presents when you have no idea what the couple really wants can be exhausting and ineffective; that’s why following the couple’s wedding registry is gift-giving etiquette 101. This list, created and curated by the happy couple, will give you plenty of ideas and provide flexibility for choosing a wedding gift in your price range. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss several unwritten rules when it comes to choosing wedding gifts. You must always remember that:

  1. Cash is a completely acceptable gift for the couple.
  2. It’s okay to contribute to a group gift.
  3. You should spend as much as you’re comfortable with.

Now, let’s move on to some of the most frequently asked questions about wedding party presents.

Is It Okay to Give Cash as a Wedding Gift?

Giving the couple money as a wedding gift is no longer considered taboo. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly popular for new couples to register for cash funds and gift cards in addition to traditional presents. New families have a lot of expenses and might prefer to add some cash to their savings, instead of receiving household items.

Gifting the newlyweds cash for their wedding allows them to spend this money as they best see fit, also relieving them from the stress of duplicate and unwanted items and you from the stress of choosing the gift.

However, don’t forget to put the cash in a nice envelope to present to the couple – you can even give this gift a great sentimental value by writing a heartfelt quote or a personal message addressed to the couple.

How Much Money Should You Give as a Wedding Gift?

Determining exactly how much to give the lucky couple can honestly be a bit tricky. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this, as you must always consider your relationship with the couple along with your personal budget. 

The cost of the guest’s wedding attendance, including their meals and travel expenses, was considered a baseline for the amount of cash they’d gift to the newlyweds. However, this “cover your plate” rule couldn’t possibly work for all guests. While each attendee is expected to spend what they’re comfortable with nowadays, we still decided to provide you with a rough guide to what’s considered the typical amount:

  • Single Guest: $50
  • Couple: $100
  • Immediate Family: $100+
  • Colleague: $25-$50

How Do I Address a Check to a Couple?

If you decide to give a financial gift instead of a traditional present, it’s important to present the cash envelope or check properly. It’s important to either use both partners’ names or a collective identifier, for example, “The [Last Name] Family”. This is both a testament to the couple’s unity and a clarification during the deposition process. As discussed above, including a congratulatory note in the envelope adds a personal touch to the gift.

Custom Wedding Gift Ideas

If you’re more old-school than most, you might prefer traditional presents over cash gifts. If you don’t wish to strictly stick to the wedding registry and surprise the newlyweds with an original present, personalized gifts will prove worthy. At Things Engraved, craftsmen customize the highest-quality materials to create the best presents for happy couples.

Wedding Gift Ideas for Grooms

While the main spotlight is always on the bride, we must not forget that the wedding day is just as important for the groom. If you decide to get the couple separate presents, we’ll be more than happy to provide several wedding gift ideas for grooms

Whether you opt for customized whiskey glasses or a Zippo gift set, the masters at Things Engraved will engrave any quote, message, or name you provide, creating sentimental yet practical gifts for the groom.

Anniversary Gifts

While the wedding day itself is extremely important for the happy couple, later anniversaries are also happy and joyous occasions, allowing the couple to reminisce about the time they’ve shared with each other. Whether you’re looking for a wedding anniversary gift for your parents or your friends, personalized items at Things Engraved can be a valuable addition to their collection of presents.

Wedding picture frames or a huge customized wedding album filled with photos from the party are guaranteed to be well-liked anniversary gifts. Let the couple indulge in memories and reminisce about the happiest day of their lives they’ve shared with all their loved ones. 

Is It Okay to Give a Group Gift?

Group gifts are a practical and affordable way for several people to make the couple happy. Don’t forget that it’s completely okay to contribute to a group gift for a loved one’s wedding, as it allows you to combine resources and afford a much more substantial, pricier present for newlyweds. However, you must strongly focus on clear communication and coordination, as it’s the only way to guarantee the group avoids confusion.

Do You Bring Your Gift to the Wedding?

There is no specific set of rules when it comes to delivering present to the recipients. Traditionally, wedding gifts were brought to the wedding and placed on a specifically designated table. However, nowadays, many people prefer sending gifts directly to the couple’s home before or after the wedding. 

In any case, if you’re unsure how to proceed with the delivery, you should always check the invitation or the wedding registry for any tips on the couple’s preferences.

Should I Buy a Gift if I Can’t Attend the Wedding?

Life can sometimes interfere with our plans and prevent us from attending a friend’s or loved one’s wedding. Even if you can’t attend a party, it’s still considered thoughtful to send your gift directly to the party or to the newlyweds’ home before or after the wedding. Don’t forget to include a personalized note with your gift, describing your true feelings towards the happy couple – a heartfelt message is sure to warm the hearts of the newlyweds.

How Long Do You Have to Give a Wedding Gift?

We’ve already discussed that it’s the most common and traditional practice to bring the gift with you to the wedding and place it on the designated table. However, you might wonder what the appropriate timeline is if you decide (or if the couple prefers) to deliver the present before or after a wedding.

While there’s no strict timeline for giving wedding gifts, sending or delivering your gift before or shortly after the wedding is obviously customary. Sending a gift within a few months of the wedding date is generally considered appropriate; however, if circumstances delay your gift-giving, a heartfelt congratulations card or message can convey your good wishes until the gift arrives.

Wrapping Things Up

At first glance, it might seem that wedding gift-giving is a stressful and complicated process. Consider whether the couple would like you to strictly follow the wedding registry. If so, make sure to get a present from the list. Would the bride and groom prefer a cash/check gift to manage their finances as they’d like? Do you think a custom, personalized item would hold the greatest sentimental value?

There are clearly a lot of questions to ask and many things to consider when choosing a gift for people who are about to have the most important day of their lives. However, as long as you’re aware of the couple’s preferences, you don’t need to worry—we’re sure you’ll be able to pick the perfect present for your loved ones.